Arms Control Wonk

The IAEA is doing a great job with the s**t we're handing them. A very jetlagged Jeffrey joins Aaron to talk about the IAEA and the very positive role that Director General Rafael Grossi has played in trying to hold together the nuclear situation with Iran. JCPOA-holdover cameras, discontinuity in footage, and a bunch of suddenly friendliness from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia all make for a tense and confusing situation. 

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Direct download: 217.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:25pm EDT

New START has been in peril for years. The first episode of the pod was about the INF Treaty being in danger, and here we are, 8 years later, with almost no arms control treaties left.

Maybe it is time to rename the pod Arms Race Wonk, because the next few years are going to be scary. 

Jeffrey and Aaron talk through the Era Without (Bilateral) Arms Control, the immanent two-front deterrence challenge, and how being scared as **** is the only way we know deterrence is working. 

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Direct download: 216.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:49pm EDT

Jeffrey, Aaron, and Scott say the unthinkable: we're a little tired of the parades. But we're glad the youthes are still ordering pizza and crowding around the computer to watch. 

North Korea paraded at least 15 ICBMs, including 4 that were clearly meant to look like solid-propellent ICBMs. We've been down this road before, they've played with our hearts. But now we're in the era where a solid ICBM is very possible, and a solid ICBM test is expected. 

The team talks about what got paraded, what the solid propellant ICBMs mean, the end of several long-running ACW threads, and Scott gets real excited about big trucks. 

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Direct download: 215.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:43pm EDT

Both plan on going first, but...

President Yoon Suk-yeol of South Korea is being piled on for discussing South Korean pursuits of nuclear weapons (although what he said *exactly* was distorted a little).

In the face of increasing pressure to respond to North Korea's nuclear posture, South Korea is realistically pursuing capabilities for rapid, precision strikes. North Korea feels similarly. 

As Jeffrey always says: both plan on going first in a conflict, but one of them is going to be wrong.  

Jeffrey and Aaron walk through President Yoon's statements, the complexities of the security situation on the Korean Peninsula, and the instabilities that result from mutual pre-emptive strike postures. 

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Direct download: 214.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:13pm EDT